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Meet Misha Crosby of Real Reels in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Misha Crosby.

Misha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve worked in Film/TV for the last 11 years and spent about 15 years as a professional actor. I grew up in London and was attracted to the performing arts from a really young age. My dad used to play in the orchestra for West End Musicals so I would get to go along, and as exciting as it was to be allowed in the orchestra pit, when I saw the actors on stage making the audience feel different things, I knew that’s what I wanted to peruse.

I’ve always been technically inclined; I did several years at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where I’d be doing 3-5 shows a day. About half were acting gigs and the other half would be doing the lighting and sound mixing for various performers. After doing a merry-go-round of British TV shows for a few years I was offered a Green Card to come and work in the US, so at 23 I packed my bags and came to LA. After doing some more work on shows here I wanted to get a new reel cut. I took a look around at some of the companies specifically cutting reels for actors and thought that it was all a little underwhelming. It looked like a few cross-fades and a fade to black for $200. So I said I was going to make myself what I decided would be “the best acting reel ever!” I wanted it to feel like an experience, a trailer dedicated to best bits of my work and for it to flow like something a production company or studio would distribute. The only problem was I had no fucking idea how to edit.

But I was wrong, I did know, at least I knew instinctively what worked and what didn’t from the experience I’d had. I knew when an actor was being truthful, when something was dragging, when something needed to breath, when a scene needed some sound design, etc. What I needed to do was to learn technically how to work the software, be it Avid, Premier or Final Cut. It took many, many hours in front of a screen figuring out work flow, transcoding, mixing levels, etc, but after a while and a few helping hands from other professional editors I’d met along the way, I felt that I was ready to turn my skills into something I could share with other actors. Real Reels was born, and it’s something I’m very proud of. The look on people’s faces when you present them with a reel that makes them shine is awesome. I still work as an actor and more and more as a producer. I have a production company called Datura Studios with Gerard Roxburgh and Urijah Faber that has 2 films currently in production. I used to worry that if I worked in any other capacity in the industry it would detract from my acting career, but in fact it did the opposite, it’s made me a better story teller.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Haha, no! I think the nature of this industry is up and down. For sure, I’ve taken a few bruises along the way like everyone else. I think like with anything in life it’s how you’re able to move on and deal with what’s in front of you.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Real Reels – what should we know?
Real Reels is primarily an editing company. We cut everything from Movie Trailers, Actor’s Demo Reels to Audio Books. We believe that editing is a fundamental part of the production process. It not only requires a high level of technical execution, but more importantly the ability to present material in a way that is emotionally engaging so that people will care. This requires editors with experience, excellent instincts and a deep understanding of the film/content making process, all traits that we believe we possess at Real Reels.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
So many people have helped me along the way, possibly without even knowing it. I’m lucky to have two loving parents who from a young age tried to encouraged me to peruse a career that would make me happy. It helps if you don’t have to fight your family as well as the outside world to get to do what you want. With editing especially, you can be too close to it sometimes and need either time away or a fresh set of eyes that you trust to give you solid feedback on a cut. My film making partner Gerard Roxburgh and my ex-girlfriend Felicity Wren at the International Screenwriter’s Association have been the most pivotal people for me in recent years.

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